It’s the year of the French. After the victory of Armel Le Cleac’h at the Vendée Globe, now it’s the turn of Francis Joyon who, in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds, sailing at an average speed of 26.85 knots has smashed the previous round the world sailing record together with his crew, with no stop nor assistance. Thus, Joyon has succeeded in ripping the Jules Verne trophy out of Loick Peyron’s hands, who, in 2012, had spent over 45 days to sail the 21,600 miles necessary to circumnavigate the globe.
We’re talking about a theoretical distance, since Joyon’s team actually sailed 5,000 miles more following a racing strategy which led them to victory.
The Idec Sport trimaran sailed at crazy speeds that provided Sébastien Audigane, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, and, of course, their skipper with a 40-day experience made of constant adrenaline and concentration plunged in a surreal dimension. Because, if it’s true that feat praise is due to the “machine”, a carbon fibre Nomex trimaran able to develop speeds faster than wind, it’s equally true that these extraordinary speeds wouldn’t have been reached without the courage, strength and competence of these men.
The boat, a 31.5 x 22.50-metre trimaran, the former Groupama 3 which then became Banque Populaire VII with Loick Peyron and Armel Cleac’h, only weights 18,000 Kg. Designed by Marc Van Péteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost, she was launched 10 years ago. Since then, she has won the last two editions of the Route du Rhum and Jules Verne Trophy in 2010.